Workers in Mass. call for paid sick days

July 14, 2011

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BOSTON—Advocates are calling for Massachusetts employers to offer paid sick leave.

Labor leaders and health care advocates supporting legislation for mandatory paid sick leave say nearly 1 million private sector employees do not have that benefit. The bill is the subject of a Statehouse hearing Thursday.

The proposal would require employers to provide up to seven paid sick days a year to employees who have worked the required hours. Employees would have to work full-time for 50 weeks to earn the full seven days.

Supporters say allowing workers to earn sick time will improve preventive care and prevent illnesses from spreading in the workplace.

Employers would not be required to give more paid time off than a worker earned, and could ask for a doctor's note in some cases.